The Scanning Helium Microscope (SHeM) is a novel form of microscopy that uses low energy (5-100 meV) neutral helium atoms to image the surface of a sample without any damage to the sample caused by the imaging process. Since helium is inert and neutral, it can be used to study delicate and insulating surfaces. Images are formed by rastering a sample underneath an atom beam and monitoring the flux of atoms that are scattered into a detector at each point.
For more information about the technique, click to visit our Wikipedia entry and have a look at our papers linked from there.
Taking things further:
If you are interested in taking things further, either in Cambridge or Australia there are loads of ways of getting involved, but make a start by talking to us:
Thought of a great sample for us to image? Let us know! On the stand or by email to email@example.com we’ll get back to you and let you know when we’ve imaged your sample and send you an image.
If you are a student and you’re interested in the technique (and who wouldn’t be!) you can find out more information about studying in Cambridge here and Newcastle Australia here. If you are an undergraduate we have positions for Postgraduate study – get in touch with the institution or firstname.lastname@example.org telling us where you are and what you’re doing.
If you have technology that you think would be interesting in the instrumentation of the microscope send us an email and let us know.. email@example.com!
Finally watch out for more exhibitions from the team which will be listed on seeingwithatoms.com.